Homework is given in core classes only – math, science, world languages, English, and history. Homework is not given over school holidays.
The homework for a class on one night may be:
Grade 6 – maximum of 15 minutes for a typical student
Grade 7 – maximum of 20 minutes for a typical student
Grade 8 – maximum of 25 minutes for a typical student
Students are expected to work up to the time limits listed above, as needed to complete homework, but are not expected to work past these limits. If homework cannot be completed in these times, students are expected to contact their teachers to let them know so a plan can be worked out to complete the assignment.
Taipei American School’s student support services department provides a range of services to maximize each student’s social, emotional, and academic growth. The following programs are offered to Taipei American School students:
Speech and Language Therapy
There are counselors, nurses, speech/language teachers, academic support teachers, and a psychologist in the student support services department who specifically serve middle school students. The members of the department, along with the middle school administrators, form a student resource team (SRT). Student support classes are available to students who manifest learning differences and have been reviewed by the SRT. TAS accepts and supports students with mild learning differences, and there is a clear system of referral and intervention.
The Middle School uses a combination of parent-teacher conferences, direct-to-parent feedback, progress reports, and report cards for helping parents and students understand their progress in a given course.
This combination of touch-points - including four mid-quarter grades, four quarter grades, two parent/teacher/student conferences, one mid-year narrative comment and one end-of-year homeroom comment - provides both timely and direct communication that both school and parents want, always in service of the child's academic progress.
The two conferences are usually held at the end of October and in early March each year.
All students and teachers in the Middle and Upper Schools use Canvas to document class assignments and other learning opportunities. Parents do not have access to their child's account. We do, however, encourage parents to stay actively involved in their child's learning by asking them questions about the types of things that they are learning and documenting through these tools. We have provided the link to Canvas below for parents to discuss with their child.
Digital citizenship is an important part of learning for the 21st century learner. At Taipei American School, students are expected to make smart choices use technology to aid their learning in a safe, responsible, ethical, and respectful manner. The TAS values—honesty, respect, responsibility, kindness, and courage—should guide our students in all that they do, including when using technology and navigating the digital world.
Students provided with a school network account may store and retrieve files and print documents using network file servers. Users of the school system should know that network administrators may review files and communications to ensure that users are using the system responsibly, and should not expect that files stored on the school network will be private. Administrators, faculty, and staff also have the right to access student files, communications, or folders at any time and monitor computer activity in all areas of the School. TAS systems should generally be used for academic purposes only. Disciplinary action may result from inappropriate, destructive, or irresponsible use of technology. Furthermore, students and parents should remember that certain sharing of information or comments in any electronic communications, social media posts, or files, may be a violation of not only school policies, but also have legal consequences, whether or not it is done using TAS systems.
TAS strongly recommends that students exercise great care and judgment in posting any personal information about themselves or others to social media services in order to protect TAS students' safety and confidentiality. Further, students and parents should remember that certain sharing of information or comments about other students may violate TAS’s harassment, sexual harassment, and/or bullying policies, whether or not it is done using TAS systems.
In most cases, please use PowerSchool to submit your child's absence from school. If you are unable to use PowerSchool, you can contact the following people for assistance within your child's division.
Grade 8 students begin to prepare for their upper school course selection process in the middle of their final year of the Middle School.
They will have individual conversations with their English, Science, Math and World Language teachers in January about the classes they are recommended to take. You will have an opportunity to see these recommendations too. Your signature on this Grade 8 Placement Recommendation form is requested and is due back to homeroom teachers usually in late February.
During this period, your student will need to register for World Language Placement Testing - IF they would like to ADD or CHANGE languages and have some previous experience speaking or studying the language. No placement test is required for beginner’s level 1 courses, or for continuing in the same language - that placement will be done by their current Grade 8 teacher. Taking this placement test does NOT commit students to take the new language class, but it does ensure correct placement and facilitates smooth scheduling should they decide to go ahead with the study of that new language.
Additional details will be sent to students and parents during the winter and early spring of their Grade 8 year using the "Middle School Announcement" section of The Parent Post.
There is one standardized test used in the Middle School: the CTP.
Students in Grades 5 and 8 participate in the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP). The CTP is a multiple-choice test taken online which assesses student skills in verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, writing concepts, and quantitative reasoning. The results from this test give us some information about the effectiveness of our school program in helping students to develop academic skills.
It is important to remember that test scores themselves serve only to affirm what we already well know that our students perform at a very high level thanks to the tireless professional dedication of our faculty. Additionally, throughout the year your child’s teachers carefully designs meaningful assessments and track progress in a far more detailed, individualized, and caring manner, which in turn provides more valuable insights than any standardized test score ever could. Thus, your child’s results might best be thought of as comparable to any other single test or project score across the year, a snapshot in time.
Importantly, the CTP does not measure the most important indicators of school success, like creativity, tenacity, motivation, and social/emotional intelligence, nor is our curriculum designed to teach to the test.
For meaningful feedback regarding a child’s growth, skills, and needs, we hope parents will do as we do: look at work their child has been doing across the year with a skilled and caring classroom teacher. Thus, there is no need to review these results with your child. They are meant to provide one indication of skill development and not as an evaluation of your child’s overall success in the classroom. There is much more academic value and richness in reviewing your child’s homework and classroom assessments together throughout each academic year.